Patients who have tested positive to COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine three months after infection.
A booster vaccination is still recommended even if a patient has had COVID-19 and a two-dose primary vaccine course.
The current guidelines from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) are as follows:
Everyone in Australia aged 5 years and over should wait 3 months between testing positive for COVID-19 and their next recommended vaccine dose. This is to optimise vaccine protection. A longer gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection.
The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after 3 months.
Benefits of a Booster Dose
A third dose is important to boost protection against Covid-19. Past infection can reduce the risk of reinfection. With Delta and Omicron both continuing to spread in Victoria, it is important to boost protection against both strains. Given the significant and ongoing outbreak in Victoria, the Department of Health’s advice remains for people to receive their third dose as soon as they can. This will ensure optimal protection and further reduce the risk of reinfection and serious outcomes.
A booster dose will make sure the protection from the first 2 doses is even stronger and longer lasting, and should help prevent spread of the virus.
A booster dose increases your protection against:
- infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
- severe disease
- dying from COVID-19.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has made recommendations for use of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose in adolescents aged 16-17 years. This clinical recommendation aims to maximise protection for this age group who are at a critical point in their secondary education and early working lives. People in this age group are also very mobile and may engage in increased social mixing. Pfizer is the only vaccine registered for use as a booster for people aged 16–17 years at present.
The GIMG doctors recommend that their patients make an appointment for their booster so they can continue to protect their family, friends and the broader community.